Müller 12' (pen)
RED: Pepe 37'
A. Ayew 82'
After 10 minutes of defensive blunder after defensive blunder from both Germany and Portugal failed to result in any of several chances for the ball to fly into a wide-open net, João Pereira committed the biggest blunder of all. Pereira hauled down Mario Goetze in the box, and Thomas Müller drilled home the penalty to give Germany the lead. Just after the half-hour mark, Philipp Lamm delivered a perfect corner which Mats Hummels deftly headed in to double the lead. And then things got really bad for Portugal when Müller earned a Daytime Emmy nod with a ridiculous dive as they contested the ball... and Pepe, outraged by Müller's theatrics, head-butted him. Red card for Pepe, who'll now miss Portugal's tilt with the USA, and Portugal suddenly faced 50 minutes of playing a man down. Müller scored again in stoppage time after a failed clearance, and Die Mannschaft went to the half with a 3-0 lead. The Navigators actually hung on for the first 33 minutes of the second half, but Müller scored off a rebound with 12 minutes to go to earn the hattrick.
Iran and Nigeria... well, they played football for a little over ninety minutes, and let's just leave it at that.
Finally, the Stars and Stripes have put the Accravation behind them. Clint Dempsey scored in the first half-minute, the fastest World Cup goal in US history (and the third-fastest ever), to become the first American to ever score in three World Cups. And then the USA clung to that lead for dear life for eighty minutes. During that time, they lost Jozy Altidore to a hamstring strain, almost lost Clint Dempsey to a broken nose (but he played on!), had to sub out Matt Besler because he hurt his hammy, and had to contend with an extremely sub-par performance from the linchpin of their entire gameplan, Michael Bradley. And then disaster struck when André Ayew finally got one past Tim Howard for the equalizer with just eight minutes to go. But for once, the stars aligned; with less than five minutes in regulation, substitute Graham Zusi lofted a corner into the box, and substitute John Brooks deftly headed it under the crossbar. It was the first goal ever scored by an American sub in the World Cup, and nine minutes later (after a frightening five minutes of stoppage time), the USA had the three points.
|MATCH||TIME (CT)||NETWORK||GROUP||TEAMS / SITE||ANNOUNCERS||ODDS|
Belgium vs Algeria
Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte
Brazil vs Mexico
Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza
Russia vs South Korea
Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá
South Korea 5:2
Game 15: Belgium-Algeria
The potential for a sneaky good game is high as the hip pick to surprise at this World Cup takes on an underrated African side. It's the third meeting between the two nations, with Belgium securing a win and a draw in the prior two.
|1||Goal||Thibaut Courtois||Atlético Madrid (ESP)||22||17||0|
|5||Back||Jan Vertonghen||Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)||27||56||4|
|3||Back||Thomas Vermaelen||Arsenal (ENG)||28||47||1|
|Manchester City (ENG)||28||59||4|
|2||Back||Toby Alderweireld||Atlético Madrid (ESP)||25||34||1|
|8||Midfield||Marouane Fellaini||Manchester United (ENG)||26||50||8|
|6||Midfield||Axel Witsel||Zenit Saint Petersburg (RUS)||25||48||5|
|10||Forward||Eden Hazard||Chelsea (ENG)||23||45||6|
|7||Forward||Kevin de Bruyne||VfL Wolfsburg (GER)||22||21||4|
|11||Forward||Kevin Mirallas||Everton (ENG)||26||44||9|
|9||Striker||Romelu Lukaku||Everton (ENG)||21||29||6|
Marc Wilmots got bad news two weeks ago when Koen Casteels, keeper for German side 1899 Hoffenheim, was ruled out because his fractured tibia hasn't healed completely. But the Red Devils manager -- the last player to actually score a goal for Belgium in the World Cup back in 2002 -- got some good news over the weekend when Lukaku was pronounced fit to play against Algeria. Interesting tidbit: if Belgium does indeed run with this lineup, they'll be the only squad to send uniform numbers 1-11 onto the pitch.
|23||Goal||Rais M'Bolhi||CSKA Sofia (HUN)||28||28||0|
|3||Back||Faouzi Ghoulam||Napoli (ITA)||23||6||0|
|4||Back||Essaïd Belkalem||Watford (ENG)||25||13||1|
|20||Back||Aïssa Mandi||Reims (FRA)||22||2||0|
|7||Midfield||Hassan Yebda||Udinese (ITA)||30||25||2|
|19||Midfield||Saphir Taïder||Internazionale (ITA)||22||11||3|
|15||Forward||El Arbi Hillel Soudani||Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)||26||22||11|
|11||Forward||Yacine Brahimi||Granada (ESP)||24||6||0|
|10||Forward||Sofiane Feghouli||Valencia (ESP)||24||19||5|
|13||Striker||Islam Slimani||Sporting CP (POR)||25||20||1|
Hassan Yebda is now listed as doubtful after suffering an ankle ding. If unable to go, his place would probably be taken by Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, who Bosnian boss Vahid Halilhodžic might also tap in for Brahimi if Yebda is able to play. In the back, either Djamel Mesbah of Italian eleven Lovorno or Mallorca defender Liassine Cadamuro-Bentaïba could find their way into the lineup; Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez and Porto's Nabil Ghilas are options up front for the Fennec Foxes.
Belgium is talented. But Algeria is better than you think, and this match could result in a surprising outcome. SB Nation's Jack Sargeant provides the full match preview.
Game 17: Brazil-Mexico
With both teams emerging victorious in the first flight, the winner of this match (assuming there is one) will secure advancement. The teams have played 34 times with Brazil taking 20; there have been seven draws and seven Mexican victories.
As we've already introduced you to the squads for this game, our attention here (and for remaining games after today) will be on what happened before and what's changed. For Brazil, who beat Croatia but seemed a little off, the only real change will likely be in formation. Mexico, on the other hand, isn't even expected to change that; they're riding high after their dominating win over Cameroon. Now, if they could just stay onside... The winner of this game will advance, and will likely win the group. If it were to come down to it, Brazil can afford a loss better than Mexico, since Brazil has the lesser opponent in the group's final contest. Jack Sargeant strikes again with the SB Nation match preview.
Game 16: Russia-South Korea
The final game of the first flight takes place after the first game of the second, because scheduling. It's the second meeting between the two sides; Russia won the first, which took place not long before the draw for this very competition.
|1||Goal||Igor Akinfeev||CSKA Moscow (RUS)||28||69||0|
|CSKA Moscow (RUS)||31||78||4|
|4||Back||Sergei Ignashevich||CSKA Moscow (RUS)||34||98||5|
|22||Back||Andrey Yeschchenko||Anzhi Makhachkala (RUS)||30||12||0|
|3||Back||Georgi Shchennikov||CSKA Moscow (RUS)||23||4||0|
|7||Midfield||Igor Denisov||Dynamo Moscow (RUS)||30||44||0|
|18||Forward||Yuri Zhirkov||Dynamo Moscow (RUS)||30||61||1|
|19||Forward||Aleksandr Samedov||Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS)||29||17||3|
|20||Forward||Viktor Fayzulin||Zenit Saint Petersburg (RUS)||28||19||4|
|17||Forward||Oleg Shatov||Zenit Saint Petersburg (RUS)||23||7||2|
|9||Striker||Aleksandr Kokorin||Dynamo Moscow (RUS)||23||22||5|
Russia's normal captain, Zenit Saint Petersburg midfielder Roman Shirokov, was removed from the roster due to an achilles injury, so he's not able to help Italian mastermind Fabio Capello. There is, however, little disagreement in the media as to the lineup; Spartak Moscow defender Dmitri Kombarov might replace Shchennikov, and CSKA midfielder Alan Dzagoev could supplant Shatov.
|SOUTH KOREA (4-2-3-1)|
|1||Goal||Jung Sung-ryong||Suwon Bluewings (KOR)||29||61||0|
|12||Back||Lee Yong||Ulsan Hyundai (KOR)||27||12||0|
|20||Back||Hong Jeong-ho||FC Augsburg (GER)||24||25||1|
|5||Back||Kim Young-gwon||Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN)||24||21||1|
|22||Back||Park Joo-ho||Mainz 05 (GER)||27||14||0|
|16||Midfield||Ki Sung-yueng||Sunderland (ENG)||25||58||5|
|15||Midfield||Park Jong-woo||Guangzhou R&F (CHN)||25||10||0|
|Mainz 05 (GER)||25||37||12|
|17||Forward||Lee Chung-yong||Bolton Wanderers (ENG)||25||55||6|
|9||Forward||Son Heung-min||Bayer Leverkusen (GER)||21||25||6|
|10||Striker||Park Chu-young||Watford (ENG)||28||64||24|
Hong Myung-bo seems settled on the above lineup for the Taeguk Warriors, with an outside chance Kim Chang-soo steps in for Joo-ho on the back line.
South Korea has, of late, been allowing opponents to find the net with alacrity, but Russia's attack isn't exactly reminiscent of the Dutch. Russia should prevail, but probably not in a blowout. Inexplicably, SB Nation has no preview of this game yet, so I can't link you to it. I'm sure if it turns up, someone will post in the comments. Meanwhile, this is your open thread for Tuesday. Relax, bask in the glow of the American victory, and enjoy another trio of games!